GM buys minority stake in Bright to accelerate production of IDEA plug-in hybrid van

Bright Automotive IDEA

General Motors announced today that it has agreed to pursue a strategic partnership with Bright Automotive, a Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute which developed the IDEA, the world”s first multi-purpose, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle aimed at commercial and government fleets.

The funding, of which financial terms were not disclosed, will help accelerate Bright”s production of the IDEA.

“This relationship is an important step forward for Bright, and a strong endorsement of our highly experienced automotive team and our incredible vehicle,” said Reuben Munger, Bright Automotive Chairman and CEO. “With this deal, Bright gets financial support that puts us on the fast track toward mass production of the IDEA. And perhaps just as importantly, we gain a strategic partner that is a world leader in electrification.”

A memorandum of understanding was signed in July. GM Ventures provided funding to Bright this week, and the two companies intend to complete the formal agreements later this year. The partnership gives GM Ventures a minority stake in Bright Automotive and Bright would have access to GM technologies.

The IDEA operates in electric mode for 40 miles before switching to an estimated 36-mpg hybrid mode for 100+ mpg potential.

– By: Omar Rana